As kids and teens spend more time online, they’re more likely to be affected by social media trends.

That makes viral challenges, like the Tide Pod Challenge and Bird Box Challenge, spread quickly across the country — and they’re not always safe.

Last year, YouTube started removing videos of children eating Tide Pods after some were getting chemical burns as part of the trend, Dearly reported.

And Netflix had to warn its viewers not to blindfold themselves as part of the challenge inspired by its original film, “Bird Box,” after people started to suffer injuries.

Now, there’s a new challenge that police say could result in legal consequences.

Authorities are now monitoring the 48-Hour Challenge, in which teens dare their friends to pretend to disappear for two days in order to gain attention on social media or local news.

They gain points for how many likes and shares news of their disappearance gets on social media, Overland Park Police Officer John Lacy told Fox4KC:

“First you had the Tide Pod Challenge and then you had The Birdbox Challenge and now this challenge.”

John Shnobrich/Unsplash

Teens who participate could face criminal charges for pretending to go missing. Lacy said it could take away police’s time and energy:

“We are going to take that call very seriously. You are wasting our time, and you are wasting our resources.”

In January, a South Carolina 13-year-old who had been reported missing was later found hiding under her bed, hidden by shoes, according to WATE.

Searchers suspected that she was taking part in the challenge, but her mother later denied the claim.

Lacy said that parents need to keep an eye on their children’s social media and that the 48-Hour Challenge needs to stop:

“Look at their phone and see who they are texting, what is on their phone, what apps they have downloaded. I am telling you, as a parent, I would do the same thing… Stop. It is not a joke. These challenges, they have to stop.”

It’s unclear where exactly the viral challenge started.

Leave a comment

3 Replies to “‘You Are Wasting Our Resources’: Teens Are Pretending to Go Missing as Part of the ’48-Hour Challenge’”

  • LB 1 year ago

    Actually this can be considered a felony by falsely reporting a crime (abduction when it is not) and someone (teenager or parents) can be arrested, jailed and fined heavily not to mention the waste of the police resources when actual crimes of murder, robbery, kidnapping or child sex trafficing, etc. are happening. Also, some towns are now making the family repay the city for the dollar amount of resources that are wasted on a “false” crime, which I think is a good idea. Parents need to step up and start policing your children and their behavior.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    This is ridiculous – for all the people searching, praying that they are safe, distraught family members, and the list goes on – WHY? Teens need help in finding a way to stay busy – school activities, part time jobs, chores to help (NOT everything in a household) volunteering at care facilities – reading to Seniors who can no longer read because of bad vision – Find something to do other than frighten and worry your families and the community

  • […] It is not a joke. These challenges, they have to stop.” MoreIn January, a South Carolina 13-year-old who had been reported missing was later found hiding under […]

We are excited to announce Dearly has joined forces with Mama’s Uncut. Helping Mom’s across the United States answer questions on life’s big challenges.